Rubber Stamps Buyers Guide

Rubber Stamps Buyers Guide

A Buyer’s Guide to Rubber Stamps

 Welcome to our comprehensive guide to rubber stamps! Whether you're a business owner, teacher, crafter, or planning a special event, we know that finding the perfect rubber stamp can make all the difference to your event, project or workplace. 

But choosing the right rubber stamp can be a challenge because, as you will have seen from your research, there are so many options. From self-inking stamps to traditional rubber stamps, wood to metal to plastic and beyond! 

Stamps Direct has been making rubber stamps for 60 years. We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and the customer service our dedicated team provides. We aim to help you navigate this choice, ensuring that you make an informed decision and select the right stamp for your specific needs.

In this article, we'll cover various topics, including types of rubber stamps, choosing the right size and material, designing your stamp, and selecting the ideal stamp for different settings, such as weddings, offices, crafts, and schools. We'll also delve into the factors influencing your stamp choice based on the material you'll be stamping onto and how this affects ink selection.

By following our comprehensive guide, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and find the perfect rubber stamp to suit your unique requirements.

Jump to the following sections:


How To Choose The Right Rubber Stamp For Your Project


Step 1: Define the Purpose of Your Rubber Stamp

Determine the specific use of the rubber stamp, whether it's for office use, a wedding, a craft project, or a school setting. This will influence the design elements, size, and materials you choose.


Choosing Rubber Stamps For Weddings

When selecting a rubber stamp for wedding-related projects, it is essential to consider the specific use, the overall theme and the desired level of elegance. The rubber stamps used in weddings often serve various purposes. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right rubber stamp for your wedding:

  • Size
    • The size of the rubber stamp should be suitable for its intended purpose. Smaller stamps work well for invitations, RSVP cards and thank-you notes, while larger stamps can be used for customising decor like signage or table runners. Be sure to measure the area you plan to stamp to ensure the design fits perfectly.
  • Material
    • Traditional style or self-inking stamps are recommended for a more elegant look. Traditional style stamps have a timeless appeal and can be a beautiful keepsake after the event, while self-inking stamps provide convenience and efficiency, especially when stamping multiple items, such as invitations or place cards.
  • Design
    • The rubber stamp design should reflect the couple's wedding theme and personal style. Typical design elements include monograms, initials, wedding dates, and wedding-themed artwork. Consider incorporating elements from your invitation suite or decor to create a cohesive look when designing your stamp.
  • Font
    • Choose a font that complements the wedding theme and is legible at the chosen stamp size. Script fonts often add a romantic touch, while serif or sans-serif fonts can create a more modern or minimalist aesthetic.
  • Ink Colour
    • Select an ink colour that matches your wedding colour scheme, or opt for classic black or gold for a timeless appearance. Ensure the ink suits the material you will be stamping onto (e.g., paper, fabric, or wood). Explore our inks and pads.


Browse our wedding stamps


Choosing Rubber Stamps For Companies And Offices

Rubber stamps play a role in various office tasks, such as stamping addresses, signatures, official logos, and marking documents with specific phrases (e.g., "APPROVED," "CONFIDENTIAL"). 

Consider the following factors:

  • Size
    • Depending on the intended purpose, select a medium to large stamp that can accommodate addresses, signatures, or official logos. Ensure the stamp size suits the documents you'll use, such as envelopes, letterheads, or internal memos.
  • Material
    • Self-inking or pre-inked stamps are recommended for office settings due to their convenience and suitability for frequent use. These stamps contain built-in ink pads or ink reservoirs, eliminating the need for separate ink pads and speeding up repetitive tasks.
  • Design
    • Ensure the design is clear, professional, and accurately represents your organisation. For logos, use a high-resolution image without intricate details that might be lost during stamping. For text, select a legible font that conveys your desired message clearly.
  • Durability
    • Office rubber stamps often undergo frequent use, so choosing a stamp made from durable materials like plastic or metal is essential. This ensures the stamp will last longer and maintain its clarity and precision.
  • Ink Type
    • For office stamps, water-based or oil-based inks are suitable for most paper surfaces. However, if you're stamping on speciality paper or non-porous surfaces (e.g., glossy paper or labels), consider using solvent-based or speciality inks for a smudge-proof and long-lasting impression. Explore our inks and pads.
  • Customisation
    • Work with a rubber stamp manufacturer to create a custom design that meets your organisation's needs. This lets you ensure your stamp is high quality and accurately represents your brand.
  • Efficiency
    • Consider the volume of documents you'll be stamping and select a stamp type that meets your efficiency requirements. Self-inking and pre-inked stamps can save time, as they don't require manual re-inking between impressions, making them ideal for high-volume tasks.


Browse company stamps and seals

Browse solicitor and legal stamps

Browse name and address stamps

Browse custom logo stamps and seals


Choosing Rubber Stamps For Crafts

Rubber stamps are a versatile and popular tool for various craft projects, allowing you to add personalised touches, unique patterns, and artistic flair to your creations. Whether you're making handmade cards, scrapbooking, creating home decor, or working on mixed media projects, choosing the right rubber stamp for your craft endeavours is essential. 

Consider the following factors when selecting a rubber stamp for your craft projects:

  • Size
    • The rubber stamp size should suit your specific project and the level of detail you desire. Smaller stamps are perfect for adding intricate designs to cards, gift tags, or scrapbook pages, while larger stamps can create bold patterns on fabric, canvas, or wooden surfaces.
  • Material
    • Traditional rubber, self-inking, and digital stamps offer unique benefits for crafters. Traditional rubber stamps provide a wide range of sizes and designs while self-inking stamps offer convenience for repetitive tasks. Digital stamps can be resized and printed onto various surfaces, giving you more creative freedom.
  • Design
    • Floral and botanical motifs for cards, invitations, and decor items
    • Geometric patterns for backgrounds or textile projects
    • Animals or characters for children's crafts or scrapbooking
    • Sentiments and quotes for greeting cards or journaling
    • Seasonal or holiday-themed designs for festive projects.
    • The design possibilities for craft rubber stamps are virtually limitless. Popular design options include:
  • Customisation
    • If you have a specific design in mind, consider working with a rubber stamp maker or using design software to create your unique stamp. This allows you to incorporate your own artwork, patterns, or text to match your project perfectly.

Browse our custom stamp types to see which would suit your project.


Choosing Rubber Stamps For Teachers And Schools

Rubber stamps are a valuable tool in educational settings, helping teachers and school staff efficiently grade papers, provide feedback, reward students, and manage administrative tasks.

To choose the right rubber stamp for school use, consider the following factors:

  • Size
    • Small to medium-sized stamps are ideal for most school-related tasks. Smaller stamps work well for grading papers, adding encouraging words, or marking attendance sheets, while larger stamps can be used for official school logos and teacher signatures.
  • Material
    • Select durable materials like self-inking or pre-inked stamps, as they can withstand frequent use and are more convenient for busy educators (and kids!). These stamps eliminate the need for a separate ink pad, ensuring a mess-free and efficient experience.
  • Design
    • Grading symbols (e.g., A+, B-, or 100%)
    • Motivational phrases ("Great job!", "Keep up the good work!", "Well done!")
    • Teacher's signature or name
    • Subject-specific icons (e.g., a microscope for science, a book for English)
    • Reward stickers or stamps (e.g., stars, smiley faces, or animals)
    • Official school logos or emblems
    • Rubber stamps for schools often feature a variety of designs, such as:
  • Customisation
    • Design a stamp that caters to your specific needs or preferences, whether it's a combination of text and images or a specific font style.
  • Ink Type
  • Efficiency
    • Consider the frequency and volume of stamping tasks you'll be performing. Self-inking or pre-inked stamps can save time and effort, as they don't require manual re-inking between impressions, making them ideal for marking multiple books/papers.

You might also want to read A Guide To Rubber Stamps For Teachers And Schools  or go to the shop and browse our school stampers



Step 2: Determine the Size

Choose a size that suits the intended purpose and surface. Ensure that the design remains clear and legible at the chosen size. Measure the area you plan to stamp and adjust the design accordingly.

The size you need may also influence the type of rubber stamp you choose - see below.


Step 3: Choose the Type of Rubber Stamp

Now that you have a clear purpose consider which type of rubber stamp best suits your needs:

There are four main types of rubber stamps: traditional rubber stamps, self-inking stamps, pre-inked stamps, and digital stamps. Consider the pros and cons to help you choose the right type.

Traditional Rubber Stamps

Traditional rubber stamps can create intricate designs, detailed text, and custom artwork. They are often used for crafting projects, wedding invitations, and personalising items. These stamps are ideal for occasional use or requiring multiple ink colours or speciality inks.

Traditional rubber stamps are lasered from real rubber for a tough, long-lasting stamp, with deeply etched lettering for perfect results time after time. The rubber has a foam backing, giving subtle flexibility to create a superb printing action.

Each stamp is fitted with a clear Perspex mount for immediate identification and orientation and a unique indexing system, which allows precise alignment. Rubber stamps are supplied with a plastic handle as standard. Solid wooden handles, 'D' handles, and rocker mounts are also available.

Rubber stamps need a separate ink pad.

Browse traditional stamps.

  • Pros:
    • Wide variety of designs and sizes
    • It can be used with various ink types and colours
    • Often more affordable than other types
  • Cons:
    • Requires a separate ink pad
    • Less convenient for frequent use
    • It can be messy to handle and store


Self-Inking Stamps

Plastic-cased self-inking stamps use a smooth tumble action mechanism to make perfect impressions without needing a separate ink pad. Our most popular and versatile stamp, the rubber printing surface, rests on the built-in ink pad until required for printing - simply push down the stamp to make an impression.

Self-inking stamps can create address labels, office-related phrases, teacher grading symbols, and simple logos. These stamps are ideal for office settings, schools, and situations requiring a single ink colour for frequent, repetitive tasks.

Plastic-cased self-inkers are especially suited for domestic and light office use and are available in over 20 different sizes, many of which are available with a central adjustable date. The rubber dies can contain both text and logos. Some sizes are also available in recycled ECOline and ANTIbac versions. Supplied fitted with a black pad as standard (red, blue, or dry pads available).

  • Pros
    • Convenient and efficient for repetitive tasks
    • Built-in ink pad reduces mess
    • Long-lasting and suitable for frequent use
  • Cons
    • Limited range of sizes and designs
    • The ink pad needs replacement over time
    • Not suitable for use with multiple ink colour




Heavy-duty self-inking stamps

Heavy-duty self-inking stamps have robust frames and use a smooth tumble action to make a thousand excellent impressions without using a separate pad. The rubber printing surface rests on the built-in pad until required for printing - just push down.

Heavy-duty self-inking stamps are especially suited for high volume and daily office use and are available in three different sizes, both with and without an adjustable date. Supplied fitted with a black pad as standard (red, blue and green available).

Spare ink pads are available in black, red, blue, green, and dry. Two-colour pads are available for most date stamps and are supplied in blue and red. Each pad has a cover for almost unlimited storage.

Browse heavy-duty self-inking stamps.


ANTIbac rubber stamps

In our daily life, we are surrounded by many unseen bacteria. These can survive for up to 3 days and multiply under ideal growth conditions. Shiny's ANTIbac line has antibacterial protection built-in during the manufacturing process. It can reduce up to 99% of bacteria.

Explore our rubber stamps for the healthcare sector


ECOline rubber stamps

With environmental threats and degradation, such as deforestation, in mind, Shiny has introduced a series of products using 75% post-consumer recycled material packed.

Shop for ECOline rubber stamps.


Pre-Inked Stamps

Pre-inked stamps can create professional-quality impressions of signatures, logos, and official seals. Perfect for professional settings, legal documents, and situations where high-quality impressions are required.

Pre-inked stamps give clean, sharp prints the first time, every time. The ink within the text die assembly will provide several thousand excellent impressions without a separate pad. When the stamp starts to fade, it can be re-inked for thousands more impressions.

  • Pros
    • Provides clear and crisp impressions
    • Long-lasting, with thousands of impressions before re-inking
    • No separate ink pad required
  • Cons
    • More expensive than other types
    • Limited design and size options
    • Longer drying time due to oil-based ink.


Available from Stamps Direct in black, red, blue, green, and violet.


Step 4: Design Your Rubber Stamp

Designing a rubber stamp requires careful consideration of the intended purpose, design elements, legibility, and overall aesthetics. Follow these steps and best practices to create a rubber stamp that is both functional and visually appealing.


A: Create a Clear and Legible Design

Ensure that your design is visually appealing and easily recognisable. Follow these best practices for an effective design:

  • Keep it simple: Opt for a clean and minimalistic design, avoiding overly intricate details that may become unclear or muddled when stamped.
  • Use high-resolution images: For logos or images, use a high-resolution file to ensure the final stamp impression is crisp and clear.
  • Be bold: A logo with bold lines and a clear, sans-serif font that is easy to read. A logo with intricate details, thin lines, and a script font that is difficult to read when stamped.
  • Consider contrast: Ensure sufficient contrast between design elements, such as text and background, to enhance visibility and legibility.


B: Select the Right Font

Choose a font that complements your design and is legible at the chosen stamp size:

  • Opt for bold and simple fonts for office or professional use.
  • Consider using script fonts for wedding-related projects or a more romantic touch.
  • Choose fun and playful fonts for craft projects or children's activities.

Ensure the font size is large enough to be easily read but not so large that it overwhelms the design.


C: Incorporate Essential Information

Include all necessary information, such as names, dates, addresses, or phrases, without overcrowding the design. Consider using multiple lines or arranging text around a central image or logo.




D: Test Your Design

Before finalising your design and ordering your rubber stamp, create a mock-up or test print to ensure the design is clear and legible. Adjust the design as needed based on the results of your test.


E: Work with a Professional

If you're unsure about your design or need assistance, consider working with a professional rubber stamp maker or designer - like us! We can help you refine your design, ensuring it's high-quality and meets your needs.

Get in touch to talk about your project.


Step 5: Consider the Material You Will Be Stamping Onto

The surface you plan to stamp will influence your ink choice:

  • Paper/Cardstock: Water-based inks are suitable for most paper surfaces, while oil-based inks provide a richer and more durable impression.
  • Fabric: Use fabric ink to ensure the stamped image is washable and long-lasting.
  • Plastic/Metal/Glass: Solvent-based inks or speciality inks are necessary for non-porous surfaces.


Step 6: Evaluate Frequency of Use

Consider how often you will be using the rubber stamp:

  • Occasional Use: Traditional rubber stamps may be more cost-effective but require manual re-inking.
  • Frequent Use: Self-inking or pre-inked stamps are more convenient and efficient for frequent use, as they don't require manual re-inking and can withstand a larger number of impressions.


Step 7: Compare Rubber Stamp Materials

Consider the material of the rubber stamp for durability and aesthetics:


Step 8: Submit Your Design

When creating a custom stamp with Stamps Direct, choose the type of stamp and the impression size to suit your needs, then upload your text/logos/images via the form on the product page. 

Each stamp can be fitted with any shaped rubber die and include any combination of text/image, logos, and borders at no extra cost. 

If you require a logo or want to provide artwork, please supply it in black and white with a 300 - 600dpi resolution.

By following these steps and best practices, you can create a well-designed rubber stamp that is visually appealing and functional for your intended purpose.


Rubber Stamps FAQ


What’s The Difference Between A Traditional And Self-Inking Rubber Stamp?

Traditional rubber stamps require a separate ink pad and have a simple design with a rubber die mounted on a handle. Self-inking rubber stamps have a built-in ink pad and a spring-loaded mechanism for automatic re-inking.

What's The Difference Between Mounted Rubber Stamps and Unmounted Rubber Stamps?

The difference between the two styles of rubber stamps really only relates to whether the stamp has a handle attached to the stamp pad or not. Unmounted rubber stamps typically require you to attach a handle yourself, which can make the process far more long-winded before you can actually begin using your stamp. 

At Stamps Direct, we only supply mounted rubber stamps whereby the rubber pad has already been trimmed to the appropriate size. This ensures a crisp finish and minimises stray ink marks.

What are the Differences and Benefits of Wood and Acrylic?

Be aware of the difference between rubber stamps and acrylic stamps. Choose an acrylic stamp if you need to print a precise image. This means the stamp will be mounted on acrylic, allowing you to see exactly where you are stamping. Other stamps can be mounted on wood, which means you won’t be able to see where the image is being printed.

Do I Need to Buy Ink Separately?

If the rubber stamp you want to buy is described as pre-inked, you won’t need to buy a separate ink pad until the ink has run out. Additionally, purchasing a set will usually mean a set of multiple stamps rather than a set, including a stamp and accompanying ink pad. If you purchase a traditional rubber stamp, you will most likely need to buy an ink pad to accompany your stamp.

What Type of Ink Should I Buy to Use with a Rubber Stamp?

So, what type of ink should you buy? This will depend on the type of rubber stamp you have. You will need to buy a replacement ink pad like these for a self-inking stamp. There are a variety of brands to choose from and the option to select a single colour or two colour pads. You will need to buy a separate stamp pad for traditional rubber stamps. There is a range of choices, from single colours to even duo colour and tricolour. 

Whichever style you buy, select a stamp pad with a raised pad surface (i.e. where it sits above the case). This will ensure your stamp experiences full coverage, no matter its size. So, there you have it – a simple guide to buying rubber stamps. Now, you have to decide which size and type of rubber stamp you require, from a fail-safe address stamp to something more crafty! 

If you have any questions about a rubber stamp purchase, contact the team here at Stamps Direct by email or via phone.

How many uses can I get from a self-inking stamp?

The number of uses you can get from a self-inking stamp depends on several factors, such as the quality of the stamp, the size of the impression, and the ink pad's capacity. Generally, a self-inking stamp can provide thousands of impressions before the ink pad needs to be replaced or re-inked. Depending on the brand and model, some self-inking stamps can even deliver up to 10,000 impressions or more.

What Size Can I Have My Rubber Stamp?

There are common sizes for common uses. However, if you want to print something particularly large (such as a pizza box or t-shirt), we at Stamps Direct can make custom stamps for almost any size.

Can You Include My Logo Or My Own Design On My Rubber Stamp?

Yes, we can.

How should I store my rubber stamps?

Proper storage of rubber stamps is vital to ensure their longevity and maintain the quality of their impressions. Here are some tips on how to store your rubber stamps:

  • Clean your stamps: After each use, gently clean the rubber surface to remove any excess ink. You can use a damp cloth or a stamp cleaning pad to do this. Make sure the stamps are dry before storing them.
  • Store them horizontally: Lay your stamps flat, with the rubber surface facing up. This prevents the rubber from becoming deformed or compressed, which could affect the quality of the impressions.
  • Keep them away from direct sunlight: Exposure to sunlight can cause the rubber to dry out, harden, or become brittle over time. Store your stamps in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity: High temperatures and humidity can cause the rubber to deteriorate. Store your stamps in a temperature-controlled environment to prevent damage.
  • Keep them away from dust and dirt: Dust and dirt can accumulate on the rubber surface and affect the quality of the impressions. Store your stamps in a closed container or a drawer to protect them from dirt and debris.
  • Store self-inking stamps upright: It is recommended to store them upright with the rubber surface facing down. This position helps keep the ink pad in contact with the rubber die, maintaining the stamp's readiness.


By following these storage tips, you can help prolong the life of your rubber stamps and ensure they continue to produce clear, consistent impressions.